Food Allergies and Other Dietary Needs
Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality at Illinois State University is committed to providing a safe environment for those with allergies, celiac disease, and other specific dietary needs. We believe the ability to dine safely on campus with fellow Redbirds is a significant part of the collegiate experience, and we strive to provide this opportunity to all students. Our registered dietitians work closely with members of the culinary team to ensure policies are in place and staff is trained to minimize allergen and gluten cross-contact. If you need assistance navigating our dining centers or are interested in learning more about individual accommodations, please contact our registered dietitians.
Looking for Ingredient or Nutrition Information?
Our menu website NetNutrition provides detailed ingredient information and a nutrition facts panel for each menu item.
- Visit NetNutrition.
- Select dining location
- Choose a venue or menu category.
- Select the date and meal period.
Allergen icons and other traits are located next to the menu item. Tap the menu item name to view full ingredient information and a nutrition facts panel. Check the boxes next to the icons down the right side of the page to filter menus based on selected criteria.
Simple Solutions Cooler
- A variety of individually packaged, gluten- free, dairy-free, and/or allergen-friendly options are available for students in the Simple Solutions cooler at each dining center.
- Additional offerings such as gluten-free cereal, gluten-free oatmeal packets, and more are located in the cabinet below the Simple Solutions cooler.
- Please note, not all items in the Simple Solutions area will be appropriate for all dietary needs. Please read individual packaging carefully or check NetNutrition for full product information.
- Have a product request that you’d like to see in the Simple Solutions area? Please contact our registered dietitians!
While eating in the dining centers
Members of the culinary team are trained on food handling and allergies. Though staff members take every precaution to prevent cross-contact, students and guests should take the following steps while dining at on-campus dining facilities:
- Review menu offerings on NetNutrition.
- Consider visiting the dining center at less busy times until you become familiar with the layout and menu selections.
- Review posted allergy alert signage.
- Avoid fried foods, as they are a prime source of cross contact.
- If you have a peanut or tree nut allergy, avoid bakery items since they are produced in an environment where nuts and peanuts are commonly used.
- Request that staff use a new utensil when serving your portion or ask to be served from a fresh pan of that menu item.
- Utilize toaster sleeves to help protect against cross-contact. Toaster sleeves are available in the cabinet near the Simple Solutions cooler.
- Know your options! Request that staff use a new utensil when serving your portion or ask to be served from a fresh pan of that menu item.
- Ask to speak with an administrator if you have a question or encounter any difficulties.
- Contact our registered dietitians if you need assistance, are interested in learning more about individualized accommodations, or to schedule a dietary needs-focused tour of the dining center.
Station 8 is the new allergen-friendly venue at Watterson Dining Commons that serves meals without the top 8 allergens or gluten. Menus consist of colorful, appealing, and inherently allergen-conscious dishes. Extra precautions are taken during meal preparation and service to minimize the risk of allergen cross-contact.
- Station 8 does not use wheat, gluten, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts*, egg, dairy, or soy-containing ingredients in menu selections.
- The venue is operated by staff members who receive additional training on special dietary needs and the risks of allergen cross-contact
- Station 8 menus include entrées, sides, and vegetables. The venue often promotes customizable concepts.
- Station 8 is open 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. seven days a week.
*Station 8 does use coconut sesame and coconut derivatives.
Certified halal protein options are available at both Marketplace at Linkins and Watterson Dining Commons. To find halal protein options, please use NetNutrition and look for the halal signifier which be found under "Recipe Types" and will be designated next to any certified halal protein.
For questions or further information regarding halal options or certifications, please contact Event Management, Dining, and Hospitality's registered dietitians via the Ask a Dietitian form.
- Know your allergy and be proficient in the management of your medical needs.
- Be your own advocate. If you need help, just ask!
- Initiate the request for special dietary accommodations by contacting the registered dietitians.
- First year students are encouraged to begin this process before arriving on campus for orientation or the semester.
- If you have been prescribed an Epi-pen keep it with you at all times.
- Understand special menu items take extra time to prepare, plan accordingly.
Dietary accommodation can take many forms. Students are encouraged to work with the Registered Dietitian to determine the most appropriate accommodation. While we make every reasonable effort to provide dining accommodations for students with an array of dietary needs, students who feel that, despite the best efforts of Illinois State Dining Services, reasonable accommodations were not achieved are encouraged to work with the Registered Dietitian and the Department of Student Access and Accommodations to facilitate a solution.
We strive to provide customers with the most accurate, current nutrition and allergen information available. There is a possibility that manufacturers may change their product formulation or ingredients without our knowledge and product availability may fluctuate. While we make every effort to identify ingredients, we cannot assure against these contingencies. It is, therefore, ultimately the responsibility of the customer to judge whether to question ingredients or choose to eat selected foods. Though many menu items are free of food allergens care must be taken to note that potential for cross-contact does exist. Individuals with food allergies are highly encouraged to carry their own EpiPens with them at all times. In case of emergency, please note that EpiPens are available next to the automated external defibrillator (AED) devices at Marketplace at Linkins and Watterson Dining Commons, as well as on the first and second floors of the Bone Student Center. Administrators working at each location have been trained on how to use the EpiPens in an emergency.